"When a great genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift, Abolishing Christianity and Other Essays.
Ah, but Swift was one of those rare birds, and his kind is likely never to be seen again. For an intellect of such Brobdingnagian proportions is beyond the Liliputian minds of the modern-day Yahoo.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, read a goddamned book. One of Swift's, naturally.
I don't truly have a subject to write about this day, for I have been consumed with travel between home and the hospital, making arrangements for Mrs. Overlord to eventually return home, and trying desperately to keep my own sanity between bouts of severe fatigue, sheer boredom, and the unmitigated Hell of having to talk to my mother at least once a day, whether I want to or not.
Not going into that here.
But this does not mean that nothing at all has happened in the last few days, or at least, that I haven't observed something happening that I might have missed previously, that makes one wonder if this Earth is not simply a loony bin created by some extraterrestrial race for it's own amusement (yes, I've stolen that from Orwell).
I guess the primary observations I'm making these days are those which concern themselves with the differences between Life in the Big City and the Facts of Existence as they Pertain to the Provincial Wastes.
Case in point, having to spend an extraordinary amount of time in Westchester County, New York recently, I find myself actually loving New York City all that much more. Even Comrade Bill's Moscow-on-the-Hudson version. The same thing happened to me oh-so-long ago , when I left the bright lights and sordid filth (or was that the bright filth and sordid lights? I sometimes get confused) of Gotham for the quaint, more-picturesque, somewhat-less-civilized Elysian Fields of North Carolina.
I very quickly realized that there were tremendous differences in lifestyle and pace in such a comparative backwater, and while I did adapt (somewhat), I found life in smaller towns and even the smaller cities to be something of a....what's the word?...tribulation. Mostly this had to do with culture, and often, complete lack of it. I don't mean the refined things like arts, museums, and so forth that use of the word "culture" normally evokes; I mean the Way People Live Their Everyday Lives.
For example: in the South, it is common for complete strangers to say "Good Morning" to one another as they pass in the street. In New York, this is practically begging to get murdered. It takes a great deal of time and effort to change the mindset that doesn't regard an unsolicited "Good Morning" as an unwarranted invasion of personal space that probably has nefarious, hidden motives attached to it.
And so it is with the differences between Westchester and New York.
One of the first observations I've made, and I'm almost certain that if you asked any Big City Boy suddenly dropped into the Small Town Gehenna of Suburbia, he'd make it, too, is that everywhere you look you never see any people. You see signs of their existence; there are houses, and businesses, and cars everywhere, but you almost never see any individuals...until you REALLY, REALLY need to do something.
And then, suddenly, there's four, five, ten, individuals who appeared as if from thin air, and every last one of them is either in your way, preventing you from accomplishing your goal, or wasting your time as you wait behind them in a line, or something. It's almost as if they have magically sprouted from the ground to mindlessly wander the landscape at the exact moment you need to do something, and then they delay you with their inner douchebag.
By "inner douchebag" I mean, simply, their own cultural norms, so that buying a pack of smokes means standing behind a fucktard in a flannel shirt and skinny jeans (with snow boots. Because nothing says "macho fashion statement" like snow boots and skinny jeans) who decides NOW is a good time to play his "numbers", has a list of about 50 of them, and in between giving them to the clerk punching up his lottery tickets, decides everyone else has time to wait around while he and the clerk engage in mindless banter.
You'd like to stab someone at the junction of spine and skull with an icepick, but when you tried to buy one at the local hardware store for just this sort of occasion, fourteen other people suddenly showed up, all needing a single screw of unusual dimensions, and the single clerk is occupied with hunting down a Phillips Bugle-head coarse-thread-sharp-point-polymer-coated exterior screw, preferably in a specific color, and then having to argue with the dipshit who asked for it because there is only a box of such things for sale, and asshole needs but one (yes, this really happened as I was waiting to purchase batteries).
Another peculiarity of small town life is that these blisters upon the landscape often happen to be College Towns. This puts them on the same cultural plane as, say, Botswana, with the added benefit (is it?) that in addition to the domestic dumbass who normally proliferates in such a confined quarter of Greater Fucktardia, there are a great many imported ignoramuses (many from even smaller sections of the Suburban Hells) who are paying for the privilege of being made progressively dumber in a supposed institution of Higher Learning.
One of the truly awful things about Modern Medicine is that despite all the wonderful new machines we have for diagnosis, all the computerization of record-keeping and information diffusion, the vast possibilities of modern communications, much of hanging around a hospital consists of sitting around and waiting...and waiting....and waiting...
It is in times such as this, forced into close proximity with raging idiots inside Waiting Rooms, that you might make accidental contact with one of these disgusting creatures. If the event does not leave you wanting to shoot yourself, it causes you to despair for the future, considering both the depth of the stupid and the total lack of self-awareness present in the Modern Young Adult. So, that while you are treated to (more like "tortured with") CNN in the Purgatory of the Waiting Room, one had best not make any gesture or sound that is an indication of having the ability to exercise an independent critical thinking capability, for the Modern Young Adult is ready to pounce upon you, armed to the teeth with Self-righteousness, Cognitive Dissonance, and a hair-trigger case of Reflexive Virtue Signal.
Long story short, after expressing disagreement in the form of a snort with a Flapping Rectum on TV (excuse me, "expert") who has just committed a wanton act of word vomit across the public airwaves, one of these Pwecious Snowflakes took that as a cue to inflict the shallowness of his own inner (child) mind upon me, to admonish me for the perceived sin of "intolerance".
"You shouldn't pass judgment", Someone's Retarded Child tells me, "because passing judgment is wrong, and furthermore, people who make judgments are usually motivated by their own insecurities, which are a by-product of ignorance and intolerance."
Needless to say, this poor, mentally-challenged waif was banished to the hallway out of sheer embarrassment when
1) his own passing of judgment had been pointed out to him
2) he has no idea if I have insecurities or not, and therefore, is passing a second judgment based upon his own ignorance
3) the fact that he assumes that because I disagree with what was said on television, I must be intolerant, is really a manifestation of his own intolerance, and
4) who the fuck asked you anything, you pompous dick?
Incidentally, I'm discovering that if my inner Brooklyn comes out in the form of biting sarcasm or foul language, people in this podunk cesspool start diving for cover. It is both funny to watch and slightly arousing, to be honest.
On a brighter, more-optimistic note, I will say that rarely have I eaten this well over such an extended period. This is saying much, considering I grew up in an Italian household. The food has been extraordinarily good.
The kitchen staff at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, where Mrs. overlord is recuperating, is primarily Black. This being Black History Month, the kitchen is rolling out a veritable cornucopia of outstandingly-delicious Southern comfort food on a daily basis. In the past two weeks, I have feasted upon Chicken-fried meats, BBQ, Smothered fried chicken, Jambalaya, Po'boys of every description, Peach Cobbler every other day, Shrimp and Grits (and I don't even LIKE grits), Mac n' Cheese, and so much more, that is far better than the usual cafeteria fare, and is surprisingly, for a hospital goddamned delicious.
If Burke ever wants to drum up some extra revenue, open the cafeteria to the general public. The food has been that awesome.
There has also been an opportunity to indulge in another of my favorite culinary peccadilloes, which is Latin food.
I had no idea that there was such a large Latin population in a place like White Plains. I have feasted upon Salvadoran fare, Cuban food, Authentic Mexican of the likes which must make people back in Mexico salivate. I usually take lunch in the hospital cafeteria and dinner in one of the local Latin joints.
I'm getting fat(ter), but it's a rare opportunity to practice my Spanish.